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Aditya Saxena

The author is Vice President - APAC, iQuanti

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How Can Enterprises Gear Up for SEO?

Growing business uncertainty due to COVID-19 and the consequent pressure on revenue calls for a pivot to fail-safe marketing strategies. Even as people spend more time online, organic search remains a primary channel for discovery and purchase for consumers

While businesses are struggling to meet production and fulfilment demands globally, consumers are grappling with challenges of remote work and social distancing. In India, more than half a billion people are poring over their computer screens or mobile devices regularly, looking for answers.

With over 35% growth in year-on-year spending, digital advertising in India has been growing at a rapid pace so far. However, with the current impact of COVID lockdowns, businesses are likely to review the marketing spends on paid channels closely, which may further underline the importance of winning organically on search. At a time when traditional modes of marketing may not be effective, companies have an opportunity to double down on SEO efforts to have a strong online presence. 

Organic search can also make a significant contribution to business growth at a cost that is much lower than paid media spends. By optimizing their search rankings, businesses can facilitate access to precise and relevant information for potential customers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a purchase or other relevant conversion goals. 

As most shopping and discovery shifts only, brands need to be found on search engines and maintain visibility through high organic ranks. For this it is important that we review changes in customer behaviour and its impact on customer journeys, identifying content needs across various stages of these journeys and then building out assets that capture evolving needs of the customers will be crucial to SEO success. 

A well-researched keyword strategy mapped to customer intent stages is an important step towards creating topically relevant content that can be educational, and even inspirational, to meet the audience’ needs. Enterprises must invest in a robust content gap assessment that helps optimize their existing website content for ranking and provides targeted recommendations for bridging content gaps by creating new digital assets. For example, upper-funnel themes focused on enhancing awareness could be supplemented with topics that are trending and can cater to near-term needs and interests of target customers. The SEO strategy should also address content delivery features such as Google’s ‘people also ask’ (PAA), featured snippets and local pack SEO, etc., to drive a higher share of traffic.

SEO programs that are built on a strong analytical foundation, backed by investment in the right skills, technological differentiators, and institutionalizing a searchability culture across all business functions, are imperative for success in a competitive landscape. 

Another challenge that businesses will face is that of the moving goalposts. Business forecasts done at the outset of the year may no longer be realistic, given the changed economic scenario. As it becomes critical to reassess business goals and KPIs, SEO could figure more prominently in the plans for most companies.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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COVID-19 startups SEO Challenges

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